Saturday, August 24, 2013

Building my resume with.... contests?

Earlier this week, I received the ever-coveted errand run nix the two children, and was told to take my time by the hubby.  Of course, I flat flew to get the "must-dos" on my list done and scurried to the public library.

Asking the reference desk for some listings on local publishers and/or agents, the librarian showed me to the reference 808 section and pulled out my new favorite book, Writer's Market 2013. (Click here to check out their website and subscribe!)  It was jam packed not only with contact information for publishers and agents,  annual contests and tons of writer's marketing, but I also walked away with nuggets like "never make blog paragraphs longer then four lines to give your readers a break. (oops!)  Electronic writing tends to lend itself to scanners, not full fledged readers, and they appreciate bullet style lists and quick, choppily formatted reads."

I learned so much from 90 minutes of reading that by the time I was done I felt like I had just completed a college course in getting published.  Immediately after I got home, I created a submission tracker in Excel and began formatting my manuscripts.  Um, can you say professional? They sure are now! And now I am using the notes I took to look for paying writing gigs at their suggestions. Even winning contests bolsters my resume.  I love writing for itself, but being able to write and make a little more money in addition to my health business would be whipped cream on the sundae.

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